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A Unifying Multi-Atlas Approach to Electron Density Mapping Using Multi-Parametric MRI for Radiation Treatment Planning

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S Ren

s ren1,2*, W Hara1 , Q Le1 , L Wang1 , L Xing1 , R Li1 , (1) Stanford University, Stanford, CA, (2) Tianjin University, Tianjin, China


SU-G-JeP2-2 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Room: ePoster Theater

Purpose: MRI has a number of advantages over CT as a primary modality for radiation treatment planning (RTP). However, one key bottleneck problem still remains, which is the lack of electron density information in MRI. In the work, a reliable method to map electron density is developed by leveraging the differential contrast of multi-parametric MRI.
Methods: We propose a probabilistic Bayesian approach for electron density mapping based on T1 and T2-weighted MRI, using multiple patients as atlases. For each voxel, we compute two conditional probabilities: (1) electron density given its image intensity on T1 and T2-weighted MR images, and (2) electron density given its geometric location in a reference anatomy. The two sources of information (image intensity and spatial location) are combined into a unifying posterior probability density function using the Bayesian formalism. The mean value of the posterior probability density function provides the estimated electron density.
Results: We evaluated the method on 10 head and neck patients and performed leave-one-out cross validation (9 patients as atlases and remaining 1 as test). The proposed method significantly reduced the errors in electron density estimation, with a mean absolute HU error of 138, compared with 193 for the T1-weighted intensity approach and 261 without density correction. For bone detection (HU>200), the proposed method had an accuracy of 84% and a sensitivity of 73% at specificity of 90% (AUC = 87%). In comparison, the AUC for bone detection is 73% and 50% using the intensity approach and without density correction, respectively.
Conclusion: The proposed unifying method provides accurate electron density estimation and bone detection based on multi-parametric MRI of the head with highly heterogeneous anatomy. This could allow for accurate dose calculation and reference image generation for patient setup in MRI-based radiation treatment planning.

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